Motion-captured theatre reinventions

York University broke records last month with the first use of real-time motion capture technology in conjunction with theatre performance, reported Trend Hunter April 23. York U’s digital media students teamed up with fourth-year conservatory acting students to put on a production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. They used the unique digital aspects of real-time motion capture to augment the play’s whimsical, alluring and fantastical aspects. Read full story.

Barrick Gold could have avoided say-on-pay public backlash
Barrick Gold Corp., once the largest gold miner in the world, is headed for a showdown with a prominent group of shareholders over executive compensation. Seven of Canada’s largest pension funds are fuming over a US$11.9-million signing bonus the Toronto-based company awarded former Wall Street investment banker John Thornton to join the company as co-chairman last year. Juxtaposed against the 54 per cent plunge in value for Barrick’s stock price during the past year, Thornton’s eye-popping bonus “is outrageous,” said York University Professor Richard Leblanc in the Financial Post April 23. Read full story.

Picking the right personality
Personality assessment is a concept that advisors can use to find the assistant best suited to help build their business. “I remember one of the first personality tests I did I was asked ‘do you love your mother?'” said Alan Middleton, executive director of York’s Schulich Executive Education Centre, in Investment Executive April 23. “But things have changed a lot – the tests have gotten a lot more pragmatic. Now the focus is more on whether your background can help or hinder you in this type of job.” Read full story.

The golden age of tracking
Bridget Stutchbury, Canada Research Chair in Ecology and Conservation Biology at York University and author of the 2007 book Silence of the Songbirds, realized the potential for songbird tracking and collaborated with engineer James Fox on the development of miniaturized geolocators, reported BirdWatching April 23. To be successful, Fox had to squeeze a clock, battery, light sensor and microprocessor into a tiny package, lightweight enough for a small bird to wear without distress and with no impact on flight performance….The primary limitation now is expense. Read full story.

Losing CIDA, the Canadian International Development Agency
“I have to question the Conservatives’ decision to merge CIDA into DFAIT,” wrote Caroline Hossein, professor of business and society at York University, in Straight Goods News April 22. “My family chose to settle in this country precisely because Canada has always cared about the developing world. If this is Canada’s approach to world issues under Stephen Harper’s government – privileging corporate models over poverty alleviation and humanitarianism – then this is not the same country we found so attractive. I would bet millions of Canadians who are connected to their homelands are also concerned about this political move.” Read full story.

Drug patents: Innovation versus accessibility
One recently concluded case in India, a seven-year battle between the country’s government and Swiss drug maker Novartis, serves as a telling example of just how contentious the world of intellectual property (IP) protection can be in the pharmaceutical trade….India has been granting patents for drugs since only 2005, to comply with the World Trade Organization’s Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement. “The TRIPS agreement has a lot of flexibility,” said York University Professor Joel Lexchin in the Canadian Medical Association Journal April 23. “India, as part of its patent law, said if you want to get a patent of a new version of a substance, it has to show significant new therapeutic advantage. That was essentially what the court case depended on.” Read full story.

Entrepreneurship Symposium set for Malvern Library
The Schulich School of Business’s Hubble MBA team is in good position in an online contest to qualify for a wild-card spot at the Hult competition finals in New York City Sept. 22, reported the Scarborough Mirror April 23. Online voting for the wildcard position ends May 12. The top-10 videotaped entries will then be viewed by judges and a winner selected on May 20. Read full story.

Book exposes ‘insane asylums’ in Ontario
Daisy Lumsden remembers being punished for trying to escape from Huronia Regional Centre….Lumsden’s harrowing treatment and that of other residents in the Orillia institution – not atypical of thousands of mentally-ill children and adults who were once locked in “insane asylums” in Ontario over the decades – is recounted in Thelma Wheatley’s book, And Neither Have I Wings to Fly, published by Inanna Publications at York University. Read full story.